Young boy unloading a car

What to Bring
Prepare for your trip.


Whether you’re planning your houseboat trip or are just lucky enough to be a guest, here are some great tips on what to bring with you on the boat and what to leave at home so you can pack for success. Your packing list will vary depending on which lake you visit as well as which season you visit, but below are some tips that will allow you to get the most out of your trip to the lake.


It is important to remember that what you’ll be packing to bring on to the boat you’ll have to repack once your trip is finished, so try not to bring too much! Porters and/or wheeled carts are offered to load and unload your belongings, but packing light will have its merits when it’s time to head home.


When packing your food and drinks, it’s a good idea to consider minimal packaging whenever possible. The less waste you generate, the less you’ll need to deal with after your trip. Every marina offers recycling stations, so be sure to take advantage of them. It is a good idea to avoid glass containers, particularly with items that will be discarded. Try to select compact and non-breakable packaging for your houseboat trip.


A trick that some houseboaters use to extend the life of their frozen food and ice supply is using ice chests with a combination of regular and dry ice. If you’re planning on packing frozen items that are to be used a few days into your trip, you can keep them at temperature longer by utilizing both dry ice and regular ice in a tightly sealed ice chest. This trick will allow your frozen goods to be ready to thaw later in your vacation. An added advantage of this is the room it will save in the onboard refrigerator for other more commonly used items.


  • Sunscreen / Tanning Oil – you’re going to need plenty of it, even during the cooler and more cloudy days. Waterproof sunscreen is also highly suggested!
  • Beach Towels – one for every few days that you are on the lake.
  • Digital Camera or Camcorder – a vacation this great needs proof. Don’t forget to bring the charger!
  • Favorite Spices – everyone has their favorite grilling and cooking recipes. Bring your favorite spices from home.
  • Ice – see our Frozen Goods section above for more info on this. Ice is available for purchase at all of our marinas.
  • Hiking Boots or Shoes – there’s so much to discover along the shores at every lake, so be sure to bring appropriate footwear.
  • Ski Vests – bring your own personal ski vest or purchase a ski vest at the Marina Store.
  • Water – you’re going to get thirsty with all the fun you’ll be having!
  • Music Player – all of our houseboats come equipped with music-player connections. Keep the good times rolling with your favorite tunes!
  • First Aid Kit – all of our houseboats come equipped with first aid kits, but you know your guests best! Make sure to pack whatever you think you may need in case of an emergency.


Have a favorite houseboating tip you’d like to share? Send it to us and we’ll share it.